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The Unknown Versus The Known

When God starts doing a great work in your life, it won’t be long until He starts stretching your faith band.  He will put you in situations that will bring you to a crisis of belief.  In that crisis you will be asked at times to come up to the edge of darkness and take one more step.  Throughout the Bible it shows God stretching His people, them responding, and the result of their action.  Honestly, God will help you get to know just how much you trust Him real quick.  But it’s not without a perfect purpose.  He usually follows up these “stretching exercises” by moving you to a whole new level in your walk.  At the time, all of it seems so tough, but after you have persevered and trusted Him, you see just how aweseome God is and how much He cares for you.

Radical Faith is a funny thing.  You get to a point where you think you have pretty much seen it all, and then you realize there is so much more to learn about God.  Then trusting Him becomes a way of life and nothing satisfies you more than seeing God’s Hand move all around you and through you.  You move from seeking the Obvious or The Known, to seeking the Not so Obvious or The Unknown.  This part of the Christian pilgrimage goes all the way back to the Disciples and their faith in following Jesus without really having any prior relationship with Him.  He came up to them and said “follow me” and they did.  Really what He was saying was “follow me into the unknown and I will let you see things you haven’t seen yet.”  In the known versus the unknown it doesn’t take long to see that the unknown can be a scary place without God, so you are totally dependent on His every Word.  He becomes your only light and your source of strength.  Your very existence is because you trust Him and Him alone.  The known is something you share with many others.   Many live in the known because it’s faith is built on things one can see, and it’s safe.  The  unknown puts you in a position to see things you haven’t seen before and others will not get to experience those things because they won’t commit to trust God in that way.  Many great leaders in the faith have been willing to not only talk about that step of faith, but have lived it.  When they took that step of faith their lives were never the same.  The awesome thing about God is He will take the unlikeliest person and show them more than others because of one thing.  They have unconditional FAITH in God.

Years ago when I was a youth pastor our youth group went to a nearby lake for our annual summer trip.  We spent time swimming, skiing, and hiking.  One particular girl who went on our trip was a very colorful personality at best.  She would irritate even the best of our students and she talked during the whole trip saying silly things that made us laugh at her and wonder if she was for real.  One of our student leaders had been having a pretty good time giving her a hard time the whole trip and he was having a blast at this girls expense.  She would brag about something extraordinary she had done and her bragging went from rocket scientist to professional athlete.  In other words, she was a story teller.  On the last day of the trip the student leader had really been giving her a hard time about being all talk and no truth.  As we were heading up to jump off a cliff called Big E into the lake he proceeded to challenge her, knowing she wouldn’t jump when she got up there.  She was ALL talk.  We all jumped off and waited below for the next person to jump.  The student leader was last and the girl was next to last.  She smiled and turned to look at him and turned around and JUMPED!  We couldn’t believe it.  She didn’t look below, she jumped, and came up letting out a war whoop.  The student leader couldn’t believe it either and went to the edge and looked over in unbelief.  He also looked down and realized the 40 ft. drop that awaited him.  To our amazement, he froze.  He backed away from the cliff  and after 20 minutes he had still not jumped.  He just couldn’t talk himself into jumping.  He thought about what could happpen, how it might feel hitting the water, he might hit funny, or any other thought that would make you scared to jump.  We waited in the water, with the girl, and begged him to let go of his fears and jump.  Finally, he jumped and we were able to go home.   But not before the girl gave him a barrage of cuts that we will never forget.  It was a day all of us will remember for the rest of our lives.  The unpredictable jump of one not expected to jump into the unknown.  She didn’t look over the edge, she just jumped.  He looked over the edge and couldn’t jump.  Great men and women of God have always come to a time where they have to walk into the unknown and just trust God.  In Hebrews 11:7  the Bible says, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”  Build an ark for a rain storm that had never happened before?  You go Noah.  That is walking into the unknown for sure.

If it comes down to the unknown versus the known, I would advise choosing the unknown.  You only get to follow God’s light, but He has a very good light.   You won’t be left in the dark and you will see things that you never thought possible.  We need some more believers with uncompromising faith who are willing to take the next step into the unknown.  The impact of their all out belief will change everyone they meet.  I’m pretty sure the next Billy Graham or Paul the Apostle, or Noah is out there and they are one step away from God doing a great work through their life.  Is it you?  Take the step.  

By the way, the unknown to us, is the known to God.

The Pilgrimage continues….. David Warren

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